10 September 2010

Our double dare adventure -> Guest review from Book Chick City: Lauren Dane - Laid Bare

Website Author

“Laid Bare” by Lauren Dane
Genre: Erotic Romance/Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 978-0-425-22971-2
Length: Novel, 322 pages
Price: £7.39 (Amazon UK)
Publication Date: June 2009
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Cover Art: Tony Mauro
Book Origin: BCC purchased her own copy

Cover Summary:
It’s been ten years since clean-cut, sexy-as-hell police officer Todd Keenan had a white-hot fling with Erin Brown, the provocative, wild rocker chick next door. Their power exchange in the bedroom got under his skin. But love wasn’t in the cards just yet...

Now, life has thrown the pair back together. But picking up where they left off is tough in light of a painful event from Erin’s past. As Todd struggles to earn her trust, their relationship takes an unexpected and exciting turn when Todd’s best friend, Ben, ends up in their bed - and all three are quite satisfied in this relationship without a name. As the passion they share transforms Erin, will it be enough to help her face the evil she though she had left behind?


My Review:
When I first approached Leontine with the proposal of a double dare, I was a little nervous. Her taste in romance books is pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum to mine, but that’s the reason I wanted to do the double dare with her - to broaden my horizons.

Leontine offered me three choices: LAID BARE by Lauren Dane, A FOSTERED LOVE by Cameron Dane and HOLDING THE CARDS by Joey W Hill.

After having read their synopsis on Goodreads, I decided to go with Laid Bare by Lauren Dane. I cracked this book open with apprehension and knew, just by the first line, that this was going to be an experience!

First line: "Music, raw and hard like sex, pulsed through the speaker stack..."

I will be totally honest, my initial reaction after the first few chapters was “Gaaaahhhhhh” *blushing profusely* “Oh. My. God” *did the author really just use that word* and “Don’t think this book is for me”...

Ms Dane takes no prisoners when it comes to the scorching erotic sex scenes and I found myself squirming uncomfortably on my usually very comfy sofa. I’m more of an old-fashioned romantic and for someone who has never read erotica before, let alone m/m/f, I can honestly say I was truly out of my comfort zone.

I can’t say I got used to all the naughty words, but after a while the characters and their story took over and I found myself completely taken by surprise at how much I enjoyed this book and I gobbled it up in practically one sitting!

The story begins ten years in the past when Erin, a rock chick guitarist, and police officer, Todd, are itching to get to know one another, even though they aren’t each other’s usual type. One night Erin makes the first move and there begins a passionate fling between the two. Erin is completely comfortable with her sexuality and knows what she wants. Todd on the other hand holds back, scared to reveal his secret erotic desires, to the point where he’s too afraid to continue the relationship and they part ways.

Flash forward ten years to the present day and things are very different. Erin is a shadow of her former self due to an incredibly painful experience which continues to haunt her, and the free spirit she once had is gone.

Todd on the other hand has come to accept who he is. After a failed marriage, divorce and change in career, he now knows what he wants and needs. He’s more self-assured, especially in the bedroom, and when he bumps into Erin unexpectedly in the cafe she now owns, he shows it by ravishing her the very same night they meet, and this is where their relationship takes off for the second time.

Laid Bare is chock full of sizzling sex and I did find it a little overwhelming at times. I would have preferred less sex and more story, but with that said, this is a story with many layers, complex emotions and characters that are well-rounded and loveable - especially Todd *hubba bubba*

I really liked the relationship between Erin and Todd. They have a respect for one another that is sweet and I loved that it was so evident especially as their sexual relationship is based on D/s, with Todd being the dominant and Erin the submissive. This side of Todd’s nature begins to grow stronger the more he’s with Erin, he feels alive and totally himself for the first time in his life. And because Erin fully admits to how much she likes him taking control, I was comfortable with this aspect to their relationship.

As Todd and Erin find deeper love and security with each other, they decide to bring Todd’s oldest and dearest friend, Ben, into their bedroom. Although he is introduced at a good pace, I couldn’t get to grips with the introduction of Ben, even though he’s a total hottie. I was so deeply immersed in Todd and Erin’s journey that I felt Ben was an outsider and I was reluctant to let him in. I was hoping he would be just a casual addition to Todd and Erin’s ever growing sexual dynamics, but he wasn’t. Although both Todd and Erin said they loved him, I felt sorry for him - he still felt like the third wheel to me.

But my favourite part of the book was the story of Erin, which touched my heart - what heartache she had to endure. I really enjoyed watching her grow from a scared victim to someone in complete control of her life, and to see her freeness of spirit return was inspiring. I think Ms Dane did a wonderful job at describing Erin’s emotions

Laid Bare is a story with a happy ever after, but I’m not sure it’s my happy ever after. I continued to struggle with the three-way, constantly worrying about Ben. However, it was a very satisfactory ending where Erin and Todd were concerned, and I read the last word with a contented sigh.

I’m not sure this is a genre I could read in great quantities, but I have definitely had my horizons broadened and I was so taken with Ms Dane’s writing, and now rather intrigued with this genre, that I have bought book two in the Brown Sibling’s series, Coming Undone.

4 stars

Check out my review of Brian Keene's horror story; THE RISING over at Book Chick City

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  1. I completely adored this book but understand that it is a bit much to take at first, for your first erotic novel. As you said, this book touched me to. Such a heartbreakingly good story and OMG the guys are hot.
    Wonderful review!

  2. Susi - It was difficult at times considering I've never read an erotic novel before, but I really enjoyed it. Such a good story - I'm looking forward to reading Coming Undone! :)

  3. Wow @BookChickCity, the back cover of this book would of had me scared. But it's really interesting to see your review of it.

    Naively I didn't even know you could get m/m/f romance books!

    But I very much like the idea of the story behind this book around Erin.

    Hats off to both of you for stepping out of your comfort zones. I've enjoyed both of your reviews very much :)

  4. Great dare :) There are still genres I "avoid" *coughs thrillers*

  5. Laura - It did have me very nervous, but I'm glad I forced myself out of my comfort zone as this book was a lot of fun to read. Until I started blogging I didn't know m/m/f or GLBT existed either.

    Erin's story was the best part about this book for me - such a great character.

    Blogeuedd - Thanks! Maybe you should set up a double dare so you could read a thriller LOL

  6. Great review! As a rather experienced reader of erotic romance it was nice to look at this book from your point of view. Your blushing made me giggle, because it reminded me of my first experience with this genre. :)
    I'll say: welcome to the club! :D

  7. Janna (ErotRomReader) - Thanks for the welcome! I'm sure I will get used to it eventually, but it was shocking to see all those explicit words LOL But after a while it was the story that shined through and I'm looking forward to reading more in the future :)

  8. Great guest review! Pretty soon those shocking words will become second nature..ha!

    So glad you tried it:)

  9. An excellent review considering it came from a *virgin cough* first time m/m/f reader. Bravo that you made it through the entire book!

  10. Mandi - Hehe, I hope so! I'm trying Coming Undone next :)

    Artemis - Thanks, I am definitely a 'virgin' when it comes to erotic romance LOL but I'm pleased I tried it and read it out my comfort zone :)

  11. Awesome BCC! Glad you enjoyed this one. Coming Undone is one of my favorite erotic romances. I hope you'll check it out soon. Very nice review. :)

  12. @ BCC

    I see Leontine has dragged you over to the dark side - Lovely to have you here...

    This one is not for me - but I am glad you gave it a shot and will go on to the next book in the series...

    @Leontine ..

    Stopping by to say hi... Hope things are great..


  13. FV - I have Coming Undone on my shelf so I'm sure I will get around to it - although I'm still feeling the affects of Laid Bare so may hold off for a while LOL ;)

    EH - I will definitely go on to the next book, Coming Undone, but think I will leave it for a little while as I'm all dosed up for now on erotica LOL I did like the story a lot more than the erotic bits, but I'm glad I gave it a shot too :)


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.